The Holy Epiphany

Holy Theophany-Russian-edited

When Thou wast baptized in the Jordan O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bear witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son; and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the Word. O Christ our God Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world glory be to Thee.

O great and most awesome wonder! Who hath ever heard or whence was it revealed in the history of man; who hath ever seen the manifestation of God the Holy Trinity! Truly all of creation is enlightened at the awesome Theophany of our God!This is not some trick of philosophy or some logical construct, it is the revelation of God the Father, God the Son, and God the All-holy Spirit! Great is our God, the Holy One of Israel!

 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.  And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.  Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.  Isaiah 12:3-6

Behold the words from the Prefestival, beckoning us to draw nigh to the waters of refreshment, the waters of rest, the waters of redemption:

Enlightenment is come, redemption hath appeared now in the river of Jordan;  come, let us go to be cleansed and let us sing prefestal songs.

What is this enlightenment? What is this epiphany? It is the enlightenment of man.

Enlightenment is come,  redemption hath appeared now in the river of Jordan; come, let us go to be cleansed and let us sing prefestal songs.

It is the revelation of our God, the Holy Trinity. Man previously was in darkness. A light shone forth in Bethlehem, emanating from the cave with the birth of the Saviour of the world.  This light also shone forth in the wilderness and rose from the waters of the Jordan, enlightening man through the waters of Baptism.

The waters saw Thee, O God, the
waters saw Thee and were afraid…

All good things given me are through thee, Theotokos, for God is found among men as the Light in the Jordan, and in His most holy light.

Thus our eyes are opened and we can behold a glimpse of the dawning of a new age. This is the age of the knowledge of God. No longer does the knowledge of God dwell in shadows and types, it is revealed openly.

With the shepherds and Magi we rejoice in the birth of our Lord, our God becomes flesh. With the Theophany, the divinity of our Lord is proclaimed. The son of a carpenter is revealed to the Son of God, One of the Holy Trinity!

From the Doxastikon (the hymn chanted at the Glory) of Vespers of the Prefestival we cry out to the Lord, like the John the Baptist, Do Thou sanctify me by Thy divine Epiphany! Yea  O Master, enlighten us, cleanse us, and wash us by the waters of regeneration.

Christ the Truth cometh unto the Jordan to be baptized by John. And he saith unto
Him: I have need to be baptized by Thee, and comest Thou unto me? I, who am grass, dare not draw nigh unto the Fire. Do Thou sanctify me, O Master, by Thy divine Epiphany.